In addition to bulbs, there are corms, tubers, rhizomes and tuberous roots. The first types to appear in the spring are bulbs like snowdrops, tulips and daffodils. Next, the crocus and hyacinth bulbs begin emitting their wonderful fragrances. Muscari, a corm and commonly called grape hyacinth, adds beauty to garden borders. Anemone, another corm, and scilla, which we call English bluebells, provide wonderful colors for woodland settings.
Most spring bulbs do well the first year, but you need to give them tender loving care in the years to follow. Bulbs do not like to fight with tree roots for nutrients, and they need a lot of sunshine.
When planting bulbs, you can sprinkle blood meal in the hole and then fertilize on top of the soil in early March and again in early June. It also helps to add organic matter when planting new bulbs and again in three to four years when you need to divide the bulbs and replant in the original bed or in additional beds throughout your garden.
Now is the time to order bulbs or purchase them from a local garden center so you can plant them no later than the middle of October. If you cannot plant them as soon as you receive them, store them in a cool place (60 degrees or less).
Plant tulips and daffodils so the top of the bulb is no more than 5 inches under the ground. Smaller bulbs like crocus or anemone should be not more than 1 inch below the surface.
For planting a large amount of bulbs, dig a long ditch, add soil amendments, place the bulbs at the suggested depth and cover with soil. Water well and cover with mulch or chopped leaves, which will protect them from winter's freeze.
If local garden centers do not have what you want, try Brent and Becky's Bulbs and John Scheepers. I use them, and they are reliable catalog suppliers.
Now start dreaming of your beautiful spring bulb garden!
“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head. The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.”